Things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Best Private Tours

December 7, 2021 Moriah Teneyck

Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city, renowned for its heritage, culture and festivals. Take a long walk around the centre to explore the World Heritage Sites of the Old Town and New Town, as well as all the area’s museums and galleries. Then stop for a delicious meal made from fresh Scottish produce before heading out to take in one of Edinburgh’s many events — including the famous summer festivals of culture, or the Winter Festivals of music, light and ceilidhs.
Restaurants in Edinburgh

1. Edinburgh City Centre and St Andrews Private Driving Day Tour

Wee Scottish Tours
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5.0 based on 2 reviews

Planning to tour Edinburg and St Andrews? You've come to the right place! Don't just depend on guide books, work with an Edinburgh city expert - work with me. I'll share with you the real legends and stories associated with places we visit and Edinburgh's characters, and show you Edinburgh and St. Andrews like only a local expert can! This eight hour tour will include all of the most popular and main tourist attractions that Edinburgh and St Andrews have to offer including some spots you won't find in any guide books! This tour will take you to the home of Golf. We will take in Leith Links, Brittania, The Scottish Parliament, The Palace of Holyrood House, St Giles Cathedral, The Royal Mile and of course Edinburgh Castle! While in St Andrews we will visit the Ancient and Royal Golf Club, Swilken Bridge and Cathedral. We will also travel through the historic New and Old Towns while in Edinburgh and take in a couple of sites on the way.

Inclusions: Professional guide, Hotel/port pickup and drop-off, Private tour, Bottled water

Exclusions: Food and drinks, Lunch

Reviewed By SidMaxwell

Kevin arranged a custom version of his St Andrews trip for us to add multiple stops at film locations for Outlander — our favorite TV series. Kevin is the expert on the show and is full of interesting details about the filming locations across Scotland and the show itself. I’m re-watching the early seasons now that I have his insights. We also enjoyed the St Andrews visit of course. Kevin was patience and great with the children and is simply a great tour guide. He is not only very knowledgeable but he is considerate and kind. Highly recommend.

2. Edinburgh City Centre Private and Personal Half Day Driving Tour

Wee Scottish Tours
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5.0 based on 2 reviews

By taking this first step in looking at my tour you are on your way to seeing the best of what Edinburgh has to offer. This four hour tour will include all of the most popular and main tourist attractions that Edinburgh has to offer. This tour bespoke Edinburgh City Centre Driving Tour will give you plenty of time to enter one of the attractions (cost of which is not included in the tour) you will be picked up outside the attraction of your choice when you finish. We will take in The Scottish Parliament, The Palace of Holyrood House, St Giles Cathedral, The Royal Mile and of course Edinburgh Castle! We will also travel through the historic New Town and take in a couple of sites on the way. We will also drive around Arthur Seat and the Crags for some of the most breathtaking views the city has to offer. You will be driven around Edinburgh in a luxury vehicle that can seat up to a maximum of seven people. This vehicle is only used for tours and is immcaulate inside and out.

Inclusions: Bottled water, Driver/guide, Professional guide, Hotel/port pickup and drop-off, Private tour

Exclusions: Lunch

Reviewed By SidMaxwell

Kevin arranged a custom version of his St Andrews trip for us to add multiple stops at film locations for Outlander — our favorite TV series. Kevin is the expert on the show and is full of interesting details about the filming locations across Scotland and the show itself. I’m re-watching the early seasons now that I have his insights. We also enjoyed the St Andrews visit of course. Kevin was patience and great with the children and is simply a great tour guide. He is not only very knowledgeable but he is considerate and kind. Highly recommend.

3. Edinburgh City Centre Private and Personal Full Day Driving Tour

Wee Scottish Tours
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5.0 based on 2 reviews

Edinburgh is a city full of mystery and and intrigue, eight hours will fly by as your hear about grave robbers and the famous dog that lay by his master grave fir many years. We will visit the extinct volcano in the heart of the city that some say could be King Arthur’s Camelot! We can have a dram or two at Edinburgh’s newest whisky distillery and you visit some of the most breathtaking scenery you have ever scene. You will the inspirations for Harry Potter and the filming locations used in Outlander! If your feeling brave enough we will try the infamous haggis or there is the vegan option. We drive around Edinburgh in a luxury eight seater vehicle that can seat up to a maximum of seven passengers comfortably. This vehicle is only used for tours and is immcaulate inside and out.

Inclusions: Bottled water, Professional guide, Transport by private vehicle

Exclusions: Lunch, Guides are not allowed to give guided tours on the inside of historic buildings

Reviewed By SidMaxwell

Kevin arranged a custom version of his St Andrews trip for us to add multiple stops at film locations for Outlander — our favorite TV series. Kevin is the expert on the show and is full of interesting details about the filming locations across Scotland and the show itself. I’m re-watching the early seasons now that I have his insights. We also enjoyed the St Andrews visit of course. Kevin was patience and great with the children and is simply a great tour guide. He is not only very knowledgeable but he is considerate and kind. Highly recommend.

4. Private 4 Hour Tour of Edinburgh in a Spacious 6-seater Mercedes

Edinburgh Cab Tours
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5.0 based on 28 reviews

Soak up the amazing sights of both the Old and New Town of Edinburgh in the comfort of a Mercedes 6-seat vehicle during this 4 hour tour. This private tour is perfect for the visitor who has limited time and who wants to see all of the major attractions. You will have time to get out, walk around and take photos and to learn about this beautiful medieval city from your guide. Or perhaps, you are a visitor who simply wants a shorter tour to orientate yourself to the layout of the city with hints and tips from your guide on the best places to visit, eat and shop in your own time. Here are just some of the places that you will be able to stop at on your tour: Edinburgh Castle Grassmarket Greyfriars Bobby Royal Mile St Giles Cathedral Mercat Cross Palace of Holyrood House Arthur's Seat Calton Hill Walter Scott Monument New Town Dean Village

Inclusions: Driver/guide, Live commentary on board, Local guide, All activities

Exclusions: Food and drinks, Gratuities

Reviewed By Anna P

We had a complicated itinerary coming to Scotland when moving our oldest over from the US to attend university here and having to do a mandatory two week quarantine upon arrival. There were many logistics and details that had to work out just right from our arrival with many bags to collecting us after quarantine and then picking up a special order of essentials at the local department store. We simply could not have done it without Andy. Starting with the original email correspondence, he was extremely professional, friendly and helpful and through it all he offered excellent communication and handled our few curveballs with grace and a great attitude. He's very knowledgeable about this great country and it's history and landscape and is such a great guy that we've invited him and his wife to come stay with us sometime in California. That's how much we trust and appreciate Andy and Edinburgh Cab Tours. Highly recommend for an airport transfer or better yet, a tour of the the city and beyond.

5. Private One Day Highlands Tour of Scotland

Highland Private Tours
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5.0 based on 18 reviews

Our one day Highland Tour has been created specifically for you to experience a flavour of our beautiful country.  With a wealth of hills, lochs, mountains, distilleries, castles and don’t forget the Highland Coos, we will showcase this all in any one of our unique trips.   Travelling in our Mercedes Vito Tourer, with luxury leather seat and easy access electric doors, our transport can take up to seven people per daily tour. You will have the opportunity to see and do so much more than what is listed in any tourist guide book and with our local knowledge of Scotland we can take you to all the amazing landmarks and hidden sights other tours don’t usually go.

Inclusions: Bottled water, Driver/guide, Hotel pickup, Hotel drop-off, Transport by private vehicle

Exclusions: Food and drinks, Lunch

Reviewed By Debbie G

Excellent tour by Rowan. He took our family of 5 to the Highlands from Edinburgh. His recommendations on sites to visit along the way kept the attention of adults and 2 teenagers. Very entertaining and fun adventure. He also dropped us off at a fabulous restaurant and gave us suggestions on what to order. Would highly recommend!

6. Central Scotland Driving Tour - Stirlingshire (Private)

Monarch Tours
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5.0 based on 1 reviews

Discover whats beyond the city walls on your very own full day private tour of central Scotland in our Land Rover Discovery. See the castles, the lochs, the hills and even some of the filming locations that makes Scotland the stunning country it is today. All our tours can be personalised to your needs and be as action packed or relaxed as you want.

Inclusions: All guiding fees, All vehicle costs including parking (Parking at Midhope castle is not included), Hotel pickup and drop-off , Air-conditioned vehicle, Child Seats (must be pre-arranged), Land Rover Discovery for up to 6 adults, Bottled water

Exclusions: Bottled water is available in the car free of charge (all other food and drink is not included within the tour), Gratuities, Entry to the sites are not included (Castles, Distilleries etc)

Reviewed By janinaw574

we booked an online tour with Chris through Edinburgh. It was really fantastic, thank you! Chris is very knowledgeable and passionate about this beautiful city, it was almost like being there in person. Cannot recommend him enough.

7. Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Private Day Tour from Edinburgh

1 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4DR, UK Ed Private Tours
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5.0 based on 8 reviews

Travel deep into the Highlands of Scotland on our monster-sized day tour. You will hear the legendary stories of the Jacobites, get a chance to spot the mythical Loch Ness Monster, as well as get lost in the beauty of Glencoe. It’s a tour packed with bewildering beauty and its perfect for those who are short on time and want to experience Scotland as much as possible. Places you explore: Callander, Loch Ba, Three Waters - waterfall, Glencoe, Laggan Locks, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, Laggan Dam, Dalwhinney Distillery. • Full-day small group tour from Edinburgh (maximum 4 passengers) • Personalised attention, private tour (no one apart from you and your family members, friends will attend this tour) • You have more free time for sightseeing compared to similar bus tours • Enjoy privileged, personalized attention from your driver/guide on this small group tour • Mercedes V Class • Please note that tours stops and timings are flexible and for reference purposes only

Inclusions: Driver as a guide, Bottled water

Exclusions: Gratuities, Food and drinks, unless specified, Admission fees

Reviewed By meghanc746

Ed was the perfect guide for a Girl's Day Trip. We had some extenuating circumstances on a previous tour earlier in the week that precluded us from completing it. We decided to try a private tour for the end of our trip and so glad we did. We had a few ideas of what we wanted to see and he was able to help us customize a day trip to see as many of those items as we could. He was a perfect tour guide and so patient and kind when we wanted to stop and look at various things and places (hairy cows and shopping!). We never felt rushed during our trip and he was also able to guide us through several castles so we go to see everything in our allotted time. Had we toured these places by ourselves I feel like we would have missed so much. We had a great time on our day trip and I would highly recommend Ed for a private tour of Scotland and the country side.

8. Private Edinburgh Local Beers, Pubs & Breweries Tour with a Local

72 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JR, UK Withlocals.com Private Tours in Edinburgh
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5.0 based on 1 reviews

Get ready for a unique Edinburgh experience and taste the best beers in town. Explore the city one gulp at a time and try out all of the locals’ favorites beers. Plus, get insights about the local breweries and the city’s beer culture. What can be better than that? Say "Slàinte" and kick-off your beer experience at a haunted pub located un an infamous historical area best known for its public executions. Try one of Stewart Brewing beers; your local host recommends, ‘Edinburgh Gold’ for a nice entry-level lager or ‘Radical Road’ for something a bit hoppier and more adventurous. If you are a big beer fan, Brewdog Cowgate is the place you need to go to. This innovative brewery created what it was once the world's strongest beer. Give its famous "Punk IPA" a try, or ask the staff for recommendations. The best part? Get useful tips from your local host about the best places to go out at night. From local bars to the newest party spots in town - it’s time to enjoy the vibrant nightlife!

Inclusions: Private tour, Pizza, Local guide, 5 alcoholic drinks: beer

Exclusions: Food and beverages not listed as inclusions, Hotel pick-up and drop off

Reviewed By 475alani

Evelyn is an absolutely fantastic tour guide. She really knows her city well and brings the myths and legends to life with her amazing stories. The whole family enjoyed the afternoon (despite the rain, which didn't really matter) and in fact it was the highlight of our weekend in Edinburgh. I would thoroughly recommend the myths and legends tour with Evelyn to anybody who is planning a visit to this really interesting city.

9. Self-guided Discovery Walk in Edinburgh: An Obscure Adventure

Statue of Frederick Duke of York and Albany on the Esplanade, Castlecliff Hotel, 25 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2NH, UK Secret City Trails in Edinburgh
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5.0 based on 1 reviews

Just one look at Edinburgh’s intriguing cityscape hints at all the secrets beneath… Are you curious to discover them? Follow in the footsteps of an enthusiastic history buff, Chris, and seek answers to location-based riddles he created. Wandering through obscure streets, you’ll find atmospheric gardens, intriguing statues and wicked delights along the way. Even long-time locals said they were surprised with hidden spots and stories they discovered on this self-guided walk! This playful walk across Edinburgh’s Old Town sharpens your senses and encourages you to appreciate the most wonderful – and often hidden – details around you. Whether you know Edinburgh or just start exploring here, this experience gives you a perspective on discovery that will inspire your curiosity wherever you go next. There are 12 fun location-based riddles to solve on this route. You can fully enjoy this experience of connecting with the city while staying in your own group.

Inclusions: A link to the web app game (received via email). The game is played in the browser of your phone.

Exclusions: Food and Drinks, Mobile data

10. Virtual Old Edinburgh Tour

Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, UK Edinburgh Tour Guides
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5.0 based on 2 reviews

Enjoy a live Virtual Walking Tour of Edinburgh's Old Town with your own private tour guide. You may not be able to come to Edinburgh, so let us bring Edinburgh to you. We Walk though the Old Town exploring the Closes and Wynds as if you were actually there. You can chat and ask questions just as you would on a normal Walking Tour.

Inclusions: Private Virtual Tour of Edinburgh's Old Town with a Tour Guide

Exclusions: This is a Virtual Tour from the comfort of your own home.

Reviewed By scottfK1375OT

Good tour our guide Alexander coburn the hangman (Paul) was great and involved the kids who loved it

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